Pan American Silver advancing studies at Argentine project

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pan American Silver expects to conclude studies to determine how much ore can be economically mined at its Joaquín project in Argentina in the next few months, CEO Michael Steinmann said.

The Vancouver-based company closed the US$25mn cash and shares acquisition of the Santa Cruz province project from Coeur Mining last week, the CEO told an earnings call.

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Pan American plans to truck higher grade ore from Joaquín 145km to its Manantial Espejo mine, to help fill spare milling capacity following the end of open pit operations, expected early in 2017, Steinmann (pictured) said.

Underground operations at Manatial Espejo will continue to 2019.

"We expect to have all the technical information together I guess in the next few months, to give an idea how many ounces we are able to mine and truck to Manantial Espejo, but there is definitely a higher grade core in that deposit that attracted us to the deal," Steinmann said.

The company is also planning additional exploration at Manatial Espejo in 2017, he added.

Coeur reported end-2016 measured and indicated resources of 51.5Moz silver at Joaquín, with 2.70Moz in the inferred category.

Pan American, Latin America's second biggest silver producer in 3Q16, reported total year-end reserves and resources of 286Moz silver. The company also has mines and projects in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia.

RESULTS CORRECTION

Pan American reported an error in adjusted earnings recorded in its Q4 and full year 2016 earnings release, resulting from incorrect figures used in the net realizable value adjustments on the heap leach inventory at its Dolores mine in Mexico.

After correcting the error, adjusted earnings for the full year were US$86.6mn, compared with US$95.2mn reported.